How councils & community organisations in Scotland can use digital participatory budgeting

The Democratic Society is helping councils and communities in Scotland to hold participatory budgeting processes online. What is participatory budgeting?  Try the 60-second guide at PB Scotland Our work is part of a national programme to help more people take part in decisions about how public money is spent in their communities.  The support we […]

Event Alert: Democracy in action? – The Place of Referendums in Scotland and the UK

The referendum is, in theory, one of the best democratic instruments around.  One person, one vote. Direct Democracy in action. Look at Switzerland! However, when we look at referendums in more detail, we can be exposed to a very different picture. Are referendums being used within a democratic culture that generates positive democratic outcomes? Alistair […]

Digital democracy: don’t engage for engagement’s sake

Last month NESTA published a paper called Digital Democracy: The tools for transforming political engagement. It’s a comprehensive and well written piece of work and we are glad we had the opportunity to contribute to it. Members of our team in Scotland have been delivering support, guidance and learning about digital engagement to governments for […]

My first two months- a diary of Demsoc’s new Digital Engagement Officer

Hello, I’m Leah and I joined the Democratic Society’s Scottish team in early January as a Digital Engagement Officer to work on a digital integration project with a focus on participatory budgeting (PB). A main purpose of the role is to help local government and community groups think about how they can expand reach and […]

Vacancy – Digital Democratic Engagement Officer

The Democratic Society is recruiting a Digital Democratic Engagement Officer to support our Participatory Budgeting work in Scotland. This is initially a six month contract based at our office in Edinburgh, Scotland. Full information, including the application process, is outlined in the job description below. The deadline for applications is 10am on Monday 14th November 2016. All applicants will be contacted within […]

Turning the tide on democracy?

By Millicent Scott This October, the Athens Democracy Forum will bring together actors from across the world to examine the current threats to democracy from the refugee crisis subsuming Europe, Africa and the Middle East and the rise of terrorist attacks which challenge the core ideals of democracy, to the rise of populism and the […]

Beyond #BoatyMcBoatface: Digital Tools for Democracy

While various elections were taking place the other week another Democratic Battle was coming to an end: Rest In Peace RSS Boaty McBoatface – and all who will never sail in her. After much hype, laughter and excitement regarding the potential new name of Natural Environment Research Council’s (NERC) £200m polar research vessel the policy […]

Scotland’s participation ‘spring’; what are the Scottish Government doing?

Scotland is in the midst of a ‘participation spring’; a unique and enviable position for a government and politicians to have such engaged and involved citizens. But there is a risk that this could all go to waste if the Scottish Government doesn’t seize this opportunity to engage and involve the public in meaningful participation. […]

CSI: Scotland

This post is an attempt to define what a common social infrastructure for civic participation might look like. It comes from discussions I’ve been having in a series of workshops on democratic renewal, hosted by the Scottish Government but involving lots of other government and civil society participants from around Scotland. The “common social infrastructure” […]

#HolyroodTweetUp Scottish Leaders’ Debate Bingo

After the seven-headed Leaders’ Debate in Manchester last week, the TV Debate focus is now shifting to Scotland as Scottish Party Leaders prepare to discuss the issues that matter to Scottish voters. The first Scottish Leaders’ TV Debate of the General Election Campaign will take place tonight and will be broadcast by STV. You find […]